Michael Murphy: Cars always stopped when bicycling in Canada

  • jacoblund

Friday, January 12, 2018
Cars always stopped when bicycling in Canada

I read with interest the Viewpoints article by Greg Kerstetter about trying to break his bad bicycling habits (“A bicyclist reflects on breaking bad habits,” Jan. 3).

I, too, am on the bike path most every day, most days running, but often biking as well. Like Greg, I try to avoid having to come to a complete stop when possible. I agree that many bike riders (as well as drivers) have bad habits, but try to keep in mind that my bike is a vehicle while my feet are on the pedals, so I should follow all the rules of the road that car drivers do.

The cyclist bad habit that really annoys me is when bike riders ride through the crosswalks in the roundabout by Look Park, and absolutely expect drivers to see them and stop for them. This is especially egregious when adults teach their children to do this. When I see this while running, I will often say something. Adults not wearing helmets when they’re riding with their kids is another pet peeve.

My wife and I were in Vancouver Island, Canada, a few years ago, and we rented bikes and rode on their comprehensive network of bike paths. There are many, many very serious bike commuters there, riding very serious road bikes, going very fast. Most wear reflective vests and have working strobe lighting on their bikes, even in broad daylight.

For all secondary streets that cross the bike path, cyclists have the right of way and the cars have stop signs. Out of habit we would slow down as we approached these intersections, and a rider behind us would politely (they’re Canadians) shout out, “Don’t slow down, don’t stop,” and blast through the intersection. And the cars always stopped.

Michael Murphy